This is a Great Hammerhead.
Depicted here by the incomparable Wolfgang Leander, it is majestic, enigmatic and unbelievably elegant, a true marvel, joy and privilege to behold.
It is also threatened with extinction.
Endangered is the second-worst category of the IUCN and I invite you to read about the many plights affecting this particular species, from the widespread deliberate targeting for the Shark fin trade to its devastating mortality when caught as bycatch to its continued persecution by trophy-hunting anglers right here on the IUCN Red List.
Thankfully, the Hammerheads are now starting to be protected locally and internationally - but the effects of that protection are so far unknown and may well be severely curtailed by its extremely high post-release mortality, and international Shark conservationists remain gravely concerned.
Very shy and now also rare, it can only be reliably encountered in a very few select locations like e.g. Rangiroa where they aggregate during the Eagle Ray mating season.
And then, there is Bimini.
So far, nobody appears to know why the Hammers aggregate there in spring, but Doc's Sharklab is, respectfully, working on finding answers. And of course, as of late, the Sharks have been a boon for the local Shark diving industry that is desperately trying to preserve its precious asset, and the integrity of local Shark diving, by politely asking that visitors adhere to a set of common-sense rules.
And now have a look at this pathetic shit.
So this is Bill and Joe's take on Shark conservation messaging - and I'm revolted.
I ask, could anything be more disrespectful than this repugnant sequence of grotesquely distorted toothy caricatures and depictions of human dominance - and stupid, exploitative, narcissistic and hypocritical to boot?
But worry not - I'm not gonna dwell. Tho I could!
Whereas responsible Shark diving operators are trying to elevate the industry to more sustainable levels, a subset of adrenaline seeking self-promoting yahoos are pushing Shark encounters to ever new lows. I call it Troglodyte Shark Diving, and its requirement for ever bigger and more inane thrills is progressively thrashing Shark diving sites from Florida to the Bahamas to Guadalupe and recently even Fiji. Despite of all the bullshit about wanting to change perceptions, yada yada, it is zero about conservation and all about some macho wannabee heroes wanting to flaunt their cojones, or whatever, by taking stupid risks, or manhandling and dominating the animals.
And about money and perceived fame.
Or as my wise friend once stated, way back then.
It stopped actually being "about sharks" a long time ago.
It's about the individual and what the sharks as a vehicle to notoriety can do for them.
And this rant?
It will achieve nothing except for establishing yet another pathetic feud. But I'm happy that I've finally got it off my chest because I've been watching those folks and biting my tongue for way too long!